163 km (102 miles)
Approximately 2 hours
Road Conditions: State Highway/Arterial
The Waitomo Caves district is famous for its subterranean splendour. Beneath the surface of this limestone region is a series of vast cave systems decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and glow-worms. Some caves open to the public, and are easy to walk through, others require specialised caving equipment.
The cross-country route to Taupo passes through farmland, lakeland and forest. Te Kuiti is the only major town on the way, so stock up on picnic supplies in preparation for the drive. Keen walkers can explore the beautiful Pureora Forest Park, while Trout fanciers can try their luck at Lake Whakamaru. The hydro power station at Atiamuri is an interesting stop. Just before Taupo you’ll encounter the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station and Huka Falls.
The resort town of Taupo sits on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake, which is well stocked with sizeable trout. You’ll find everything a traveller could wish for, including an excellent choice of restaurants. Most accommodation establishments make good use of the underground thermal activity to provide hot spas for relaxation.
Waipahihi Botanical Reserve
Pack a picnic and wander through the Waipahihi Botanical Reserve, a vast garden of rare alpine plants, rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias.
Taupo Lakeside walks
Explore the scenic beauty of Lake Taupo by stretching your legs along one of many lakeside walking trails.
Mine Bay Rock Carving
Take a kayak or boat tour around the scenic Western Bays of Lake Taupo to see the huge Maori rock carving at Mine Bay.
Witness an unusual display of raw river power at the Aratiatia rapids, just off State Highway 1 north of Taupo.
Wai means water, tomo means hole. Put them together and you have the perfect name for a region that's packed with limestone caves.
Craters of the Moon
Explore a cratered valley that's hissing with clouds of steam. Feel the heat of the earth at the edge of the track, and peer from viewing platforms into cauldrons of boiling mud.
Discover the amazing scenery around Lake Taupo. This area of New Zealand blends forests, geothermal activity and fascinating volcanic landscapes.
At Huka Falls you can witness the phenomenon of natural hydro power - more than 220, 000 litres of water per second.
Boat Cruises (7),
Fishing – Fresh Water (19)
Hamilton - Waikato